The suspect in a police pursuit that led to the death of a Vancouver Police officer who was a Battle Ground resident now faces charges of first-degree murder, according to court documents.
Julio Cesar Segura, 20, faces 10 charges, including three new charges of first-degree murder, one of second-degree murder and one of attempted first-degree kidnapping. These are in addition to charges of first-degree robbery and burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and attempt to elude. Previous charges of first-degree attempted murder and third-degree assault appear to be upgraded, based on court documents.
Although originally scheduled for Feb. 16, Segura received an extension on his arraignment to March 1. Segura’s charges are in connection to the death of Donald Sahota, whose home Segura allegedly trespassed into after he fled from law enforcement following a robbery at a Brush Prairie Chevron gas station on Jan. 29.
According to court documents, the prosecution argues Segura received the murder charges because his actions while fleeing from the burglary caused Sahota’s death. The charging documents note Sahota was an officer performing his duties. Segura faces additional charges because he was armed with a knife. Segura allegedly stabbed Sahota multiple times during the altercation at Sahota’s home.
On the same day Segura was supposed to be sentenced, the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team released more information from its investigation into Sahota’s death. The new information came from drone and aircraft surveillance, radio traffic, emergency recordings and interviews.
The major crimes team report stated that after the alleged armed robbery at the Chevron at the intersection of Northeast 99th Street and state Route 503, Segura fled in a vehicle with dealer tags, which previous reports stated was stolen in Yakima.
Segura’s vehicle was found on Interstate 205 and responding law enforcement pursued him, the report stated. Officers deployed spike strips and Segura fled on foot around Northeast 219th Street in Battle Ground. A SWAT team and a negotiator responded to the area. Responding officers received a description on the subject, who was said to be wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with a black undershirt, a hat, a mask, glasses and had shaggy hair.
A drone saw Segura walking on a private road and captured him walking into a driveway identified as Sahota’s residence, the report stated, in the 7800 block of Northeast 239th Street. An emergency caller who was at the residence reported her husband, later identified as Sahota, was in contact with Segura. The caller, who was previously identified as Sahota’s wife, also reported hearing sirens in the area, later reporting Segura had assaulted Sahota.
Air surveillance provided information to officers on the ground, the report stated, informing them that Sahota and Segura were fighting. Neither drone nor aircraft surveillance could identify which subject was Sahota or Segura as they fought on the driveway of the residence. One of the aircraft units noted they believed they saw a gun fall from one of the two subjects during the fight, stated the report.
As a ground team arrived, video showed one of the two involved in the fight, later identified as Segura, got up and ran into the residence, the report stated. Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Feller was the first to arrive on the scene while Sahota got up and grabbed what was believed to be the gun and ran to the front door of the residence.
Sahota was wearing a dark shirt over a white shirt, based on the report, which was the opposite of what Segura was described to be wearing in initial reports. Both were reported to have a “tan” complexion and were wearing blue jeans.
Video surveillance showed the second subject, identified as Sahota, had attempted to kick in the door, which had been closed. It showed Feller fire his rifle, after which Sahota slid down to the ground. Seconds later, a woman exited the garage door, which had been opened, and Segura exited the front door with his hands up. Officers were seen helping Sahota, according to the report.
Witnesses told investigators they thought Sahota was the suspect “based on actions and appearance,” the report stated, including radio transmissions from a sheriff’s deputy who said the “suspect” had been shot. Another deputy said they believed Segura was the homeowner after he exited the residence and ordered him back into the home for safety concerns.
In an interview, Feller said he saw “a shadow of a person entering the residence,” according to the report. Feller said he saw “a male who matched the updated armed robbery suspect description” who had picked up a gun from the driveway and ran to the front door. He said he thought it was the armed robbery suspect forcing entry into the residence, “and feared that the suspect was trying to enter the home to kill the residents,” according to the report.
Feller ordered Sahota on the ground, but didn’t see any response from Sahota, he said during the investigation.
Feller “told investigators he fired to stop the threat to the residents,” according to the report. He said he didn’t realize he had shot Sahota until he saw Segura leave the house.
An examination from the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office showed Sahota suffered “two serious stab wounds” to his abdomen and near his chest and neck. The latter stab went into his lung cavity and was considered life-threatening.
Sahota was also shot with three rifle rounds, two of which entered his shoulder and went through his chest and one into his right wrist. Of four rounds fired, the medical examiner stated, one missed Sahota and hit his house’s front door.
Investigators found Sahota had fired one round from a pistol during the incident, the report stated. The report does not specify if it was the fourth round recorded.
A video summary of the investigation has been turned over to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the report stated. Lab results and scene reconstruction still need to be completed. The investigation is ongoing.
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